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BeiDou has better accuracy than GPS in some regions: experts

2014-09-05 08:50 CRIENGLISH.com Web Editor: Qian Ruisha

China's BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, or BDS, is said to have better positioning accuracy than GPS in some regions in China.

But the relatively high cost of the Chinese system is holding back efforts to commercialize it.

The positioning accuracy of BDS for civil use has recently been upgraded to 2 and a half meters, meaning the actual object is no farther than that from the reading given by the device.

When used for maritime positioning, BDS Premium's accuracy stands at 3 centimeters.

Li Wei, deputy head of the China Satellite Navigation Application Management Center, says BDS has an advantage over its American rival, GPS.

"The positioning accuracy of GPS in China is between 3 and 5 meters. The reason why they can provide relatively good services and have such a big clientele is that it has a lot of differential base stations on the ground. BeiDou's positioning accuracy now stands at 2.5 meters. We are planning to build thousands of differential base stations in China for BeiDou. Then we may provide services with accuracy of no more than 1 meter and even at the centimeter level."

But the prices for BDS is a major concern on the markets.


Ma Zhenying, a deputy manager of a company producing BDS, says the chip cost for BDS is higher than GPS.

"The GPS module on our mobile phones may cost only 2 U.S. dollars, much cheaper than that of BeiDou. The chip for BDS is currently priced at over 16 dollars. That is because BDS does not have massive production numbers."

BDS is expected to expand to more than 30 million devices over the next few years, mostly installed on devices made by Chinese manufacturers.


That is expected to help lower costs for the system.

With BDS, China seeks to build a third global navigation system, along with the American produced GPS and Russian-made GLONASS.

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